While there is never a convenient time for a pandemic, this is especially true for Kam Yuk Woo. A native of Guangzhou, China, Kam Yuk has been living in the Sunset district of San Francisco since 1982. She recently lost her husband and now lives alone since they didn’t have children. She is battling serious health issues and has endured five surgeries, the most recent being a heart surgery that left her even more vulnerable. She relies on her walker to safely move around her home. Her elderly domestic helper had to stop working since shelter-in-place orders began, so now Kam Yuk is on her own and still cooking most of her meals, although she does receive some meal services.
A friend at her church helped her to buy a laptop a few years ago and taught her how to watch the news and YouTube. When she was more mobile, she was a regular at the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center, where seniors would wait in line to get help with their mobile devices. When she learned that CTN was offering computer classes at the center, she enrolled and was able to attend one session prior to the pandemic shutdown. She was eager and excited when contacted by Annie Tan, a bilingual digital literacy instructor at CTN, inviting her to participate in Home Connect.
Kam Yuk and Annie finished Home Connect’s five one-hour basic training sessions several weeks ago. “Annie patiently answered all my questions and didn’t mind repeating herself multiple times for the same lesson topic because of my poor memory. Annie taught me to email, and I can use the internet to research my medications. I also video chat with classmates from the good old days in China who I haven’t seen for 70 years. I’m not as lonely as before.” Kam Yuk shared.
Her life has come full circle. Kam Yuk dropped out of school during junior high in China to become the first female apprentice at an automobile factory. Many workers in the factory were illiterate, and she spent time after work teaching them how to write, starting with their names. Now her life has been changed by someone who cared.
Kam Yuk’s next phase of training is delayed while CTN recruits additional Cantonese-speaking volunteers. Show you care. Get involved.